Mekong Delta grapples with drought, saltwater intrusion

SGGP
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, this year’s saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta region is more serious than the 2015-2016 dry season. It comes earlier with higher level of salinity.

Mekong Delta grapples with drought, saltwater intrusion

Mekong Delta grapples with drought, saltwater intrusion ảnh 1 The region covering more than 40,500 km2 has a high population of 17 million people. It is a part of the Mekong River Basin that drains a total land area of 870,000 km2.
Mekong Delta grapples with drought, saltwater intrusion ảnh 2 A sluice prevents saltwater intrusion.
According to a report by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, saltwater intrusion and drought has affected production and livelihoods in 10 out of 13 provinces in the Mekong Delta. (excluding An Giang, Dong Thap and Can Tho).
Five provinces, including Ben Tre, Tien Giang, Long An, Ca Mau and Kien Giang have declared urgent situations of saltwater intrusion.
Mekong Delta grapples with drought, saltwater intrusion ảnh 3 A rice field affected by drought and saltwater intrusion
As many as 39,000ha of rice is affected by saltwater intrusion, accounting for 1.2 percent of the total planting-area and equivalent to 9.6 percent of the 2015-2016 dry season with over 405,000 ha.
Mekong Delta grapples with drought, saltwater intrusion ảnh 4
Around 95,600 households will face a shortage of daily use water, including 24,400 households in Soc Trang; 20,000 in Ben Tre; 11,300 in Kien Giang; 8,600 in Tra Vinh; 7,900 in Long An and 3,300 in Bac Lieu. The 2015-2016 dry season saw 210,000 households.
The salinity of 1‰ covers the entire Ben Tre Province. Cho Lach District and Phu Phung Commune are respectively 10‰ and 4‰.
Mekong Delta grapples with drought, saltwater intrusion ảnh 5
Mekong Delta grapples with drought, saltwater intrusion ảnh 6
The salinity intrusion has destroyed 5,200 of rice, 20,000ha of fruit, 72,000 ha of coconut and 1,000 ha of ornamental plants while 722 ha of giant river prawns and 1,100 tons of clam were killed in the province.
It has also caused freshwater shortages, affecting people's livelihoods and daily activities.
Mekong Delta grapples with drought, saltwater intrusion ảnh 7 Farmer Phan Huy Binh in Cho Lach District’s Hoa Nghia Commune has fetch 2 cubic meters of fresh water, 2km away from home, to water his 10-ha durian plantation. Many fruits have dropped off from the trees because the lack of fresh water resources.
Mekong Delta grapples with drought, saltwater intrusion ảnh 8 Several residents drive small trucks transporting 1-1.5 cubic meters of fresh water for sale at a price of VND150, 000 – VND200, 000 per trip.
Mekong Delta grapples with drought, saltwater intrusion ảnh 9 Many canals in Tien Giang Province are drying up, affecting the winter-spring rice crop.
In Tien Giang Province, more than 2,200 ha of rice in the Go Cong Fresh Water Zone and 36,000ha of fruit are facing severe water scarcity.
In My Tho City, saltwater intrusion has entered deep into Binh Duc and Dong Tam water supply plants, threatening activities of more than 800,000 local people’s everyday lives. Residents have to buy freshwater at a high price.
Mekong Delta grapples with drought, saltwater intrusion ảnh 10
The salinity intrusion and drought have affected around 13,500ha of rice, including 2,500ha that could be completely damaged in Long An province. Nearly 10,000 households have suffered from lack of fresh water.

Mekong Delta grapples with drought, saltwater intrusion ảnh 11 In Ca Mau Province, many hectares of vegetables have been severely affected by the loss of water.
According to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Cam Mau province, more than 41,600ha of rice and 340 ha of fruit and vegetables have been affected by the saltwater intrusion and drought. Nearly 13,500 households are facing the shortage of clean water.
Mekong Delta grapples with drought, saltwater intrusion ảnh 12 West Sea dyke in Ca Mau severely subsided.
Mekong Delta grapples with drought, saltwater intrusion ảnh 13 Traders hire local people to transport rice to their boats on river, tens of kilometers away from paddy fields, instead of using canal transport.
Mekong Delta grapples with drought, saltwater intrusion ảnh 14 Many canals in Ca Mau Province are drying up.
Mekong Delta grapples with drought, saltwater intrusion ảnh 15 Many canals in Ca Mau Province are drying up.
According to a report by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the level of the Mekong River has plummeted, causing a shortage of fresh water in the Mekong Delta region lower than the 2015-2016 dry season. This is the main reason why saltwater intrusion come earlier and with higher level of salinity than that recorded in the 2015-2016 dry season.
Mekong Delta grapples with drought, saltwater intrusion ảnh 16 Relevant units have inspected the system of saltwater-prevention sluices.









By staff writers – Translated by Kim Khanh

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